I'm not kidding. I know many of you have already read this and I'm not fishing for double comments, but when Katherine Deane was kind enough to interview me about Cassie and Cassie's Conflicts it was a really long interview so we cut some of the questions. I thought Katherine asked some of the best questions and she was fine with me posting the whole thing here. If you do want to check out the new questions I put them in red.
Why an older couple? What appealed to you to go against the norm, and average ages of 20-30 somethings?
I want Cassie’s stories to let everyone know that love and passion are not the sole property of the young. Love and passion grows and changes with age. I didn’t begin writing until I was nearly fifty, I knew the love of a long time commitment and that was what I wanted to explore. Many of us who have always longed for a loving spanking relationship want it to last a lifetime, so let’s explore what’s in the far distance for most of us. The excitement of erotic spanking, as well as discipline doesn’t have to stop as we leave our thirties. I feel that Cassie and Tom give us hope as to what could be.
Is this story based on any personal experiences?
It really isn’t. Cassie wandered into my head when I was eleven years old. She was forty then. She began telling me her stories. I never knew why my imaginary friend was thirty years older than me and I never knew why my imaginary friend never left. But now I hope she doesn’t.
Do you use any of your life in your writing?
My parents traveled a great deal and I’ve used some of the stories I’ve heard about their travels, with my own spin included of course. I also attended many conventions with my parents, at least once a year since I could remember, until my early-twenties. The ladies activities, the cocktail parties, the dinner and dancing I remember from those days. I do remember several older couples I love to watch dance.
Another thing I got from my life is Tom’s ideas on manners and how a lady should act. These ideas come from my sweet mother. I didn’t always agree with her views, though I wore my white gloves to church as a child, but I knew her idea of proper and I let it bloom it Tom.
Was there a public service message in your minor character who was a beloved, sweet young homosexual man? And did any of this come from personal experience?
Yes, this was my reality. My son told me he was gay when he was about the same age as Drew, my son had just turned fourteen. Although he’s not huge like Drew, or athletic, he was accepted and loved by his teachers and friends. He and his boyfriend married about a year ago and someday Drew will too.
What appeals to you most about Cassie?
I admire her fearlessness, and her total and consuming love and devotion to Tom and her friends.
How much longer will you continue with this series?
Now there is the question! How long will people want to continue reading her? I have roughly five more books. There are really good stories to come and I really want to tell them. But I also want to branch out and prove I’m hot a one hit wonder – mostly I want to prove it to myself. I know I’ll eventually do the books that are already sketched out, but I don’t know how long I should take. I’m trying to find a balance between not having my readers grow tired of her and on the other hand not forgetting her.
What’s the oldest you think Cassie will become before her stories are concluded?
This is my favorite question. There is a book/story in my mind that I’m going to write someday even if I never publish it. It’s years in the future – both Cassie and Tom are in there nineties. It’s obviously a closing book so it could just be for me, but at the same time there are a couple of secrets that come out in that last story that would be interesting to those who truly love Cassie. One secret I’ve known about for a long time, the other I just discovered and it was a bit of a shock. I guess I’ll decide about this book later.
What comes next?
If I can ever retire and possible get my thoughts organized, there are other characters running around in my head that I would like to explore. I really like the Corbin’s Bend Series and I’d love to write a book for it too.
Which character in this series are you most like?
I really want to say Cassie or Sue, because I want to be like them. But I’m probably more of an Annie. I’m much less likely to get myself in trouble, and when things are peaceful I like to keep them that way. But when I’m mad, when people do or say truly stupid things I can bring Cassie or Sue out of my back pocket an use them like a weapon.
What was your favorite moment in writing this book (or even this series)?
That I can’t tell you! It’s in the books yet to come. One is a gift Tom gives to Cassie that surpasses anything so far and another, again – yet to come, where a character simply walked into my story from nowhere. I had no idea this person was in my head until they invited themselves to stay!
What was the most difficult part about writing this book (or the series)?
I was a math teacher for a quarter of a century so grammar, tense, commas, quotations – all those things have been difficult for me, but I’m working on them. Another problem is that Cassie’s story is on-going. I know a book should have a beginning, a climax and a conclusion. That’s hard when the story is a continuation of her life..
Does the name Cassie have any special meaning to you?
I had nothing to do with it. I knew no one by that name. When she popped into my head all those years ago it was pretty much, “Hey, I’m Cassie, pleased to meet you. I have a story to tell you…”
Now her last name has a story. I used to watch the TV show Judging Amy. I really like the older character Maxine Grey who was played by Tyne Daly. In the show she was dating a character played by Richard Crenna, someone who could have played Tom if I were casting a move. I loved their story line and I was thrilled when they decided to marry on the show. I’m not sure how the show would have handled it, but before the wedding Richard Crenna died in real life, so his character died on the show. I was devastated. He played the part of Jared Duff – and it was in his honor that Cassie got her last name.
What is your favorite scene from this book? Please share an excerpt below:
My favorite scene/situation is long, but I’m giving you part of it here. Cassie can get aggravated with Tom, but usually she’s not that mad. This time, she’s truly angry. I liked this scene but I’m most intrigued by the one that comes shortly after it. The scene that follows this one popped into my head one day in great, graphic detail. I had no idea what had happened to arrive at that situation and I had no idea what would happen next. But the scene stayed with me and nearly two years later I got to learn the details.
Tom, who had barely spoken to me during dinner, turned to the couple on his left and announced, “I think we’ll be headed back to the hotel soon. Cassie’s been a little under the weather.”
As far as I was concerned, the fight was on! “THAT’S IT!” I shouted loud enough to attract the attention of several tables as I slammed my hand down. Lowering my voice only slightly I continued, “Cassie has not been under the weather in the least. If Cassie had been feeling under the weather, I would have been one of the first to know. If you think I’m too old and decrepit to come to these functions, why don’t you just put me in the home and be done with it. You can go back to the hotel alone if you want to, I don’t give a damn – I’m staying here.” I grabbed Sue’s drink and downed it in one gulp and then left the table so fast none of the stunned men had time to rise.
I was so mad I didn’t know what to do with myself. I headed to the bar to order another drink. I scanned the crowd until I spotted several old friends and asked one to dance. I stayed on the dance floor nearly thirty minutes. Tom was still at the table. His face was dark with anger, but he made no move to come to me. I tried not to look his way, but it seemed impossible. I kept glancing his way regardless of my intent. He never took his eyes off me. Finally I couldn’t take it any longer and I headed to the ladies room.
I sat in the little lounge area and closed my eyes. I kept them closed as women moved in and out. I don’t know how long I sat that way, but when I finally opened them, Sue and Annie were sitting across from me.
“What?” I snapped.
Sue cocked her head and looked at me. “I was just wondering if you had a charity you wanted us to contribute to in lieu of flowers.”
“He is going to kill me, isn’t he? What has he said?”
“The man hasn’t spoken a word since you left the table,” Annie said anxiously. She looked upset. I closed my eyes again. This was bad. “Please come back and talk to him.”
I was in more turmoil than you can imagine. I was still angry to the core, but I felt horrible. I knew I was going to have to face him eventually. Leaving the powder room, I looked over at our table.
Tom was gone.
I felt like I’d been punched in the stomach. I couldn’t breathe. I was the hot headed one, I’d run out on Tom more times than I cared to remember, but never in all our years together had Tom walked out on me. Although my anger hadn’t defused, the hurt was overwhelming.